Just Cause 3
There’s something to be said about a developer that’s singularly interested in building a game around the unpredictable moments the open-world genre is known for. If it can’t be easily reproduced and would work as the spectacle piece in a Summer blockbuster, then the Just Cause series either has or will try to incorporate it into its world.
It doesn’t need a reason. It does it just ‘cause… uh… three.
For the uninitiated, Just Cause 3 is a bombastic open-world third-person action game that’s not at all interested in providing an engrossing story or thoughtful characters. It’s far too busy discovering fun new ways to blow stuff up.
If you’ve spent any significant amount of time with the Elder Scrolls, Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row series, then you’ve probably strayed from the main story.
There could be a genuinely interesting story waiting just down the road, but the moment the world opens up before someone like myself, my main objective is magically transformed into a nagging reminder of the narrative that’s waiting for me to carry it to a meaningful conclusion.
This is when Just Cause 3 would come soaring down from the heavens on a wingsuit, a rocket launcher in one hand and a comically overpowered grappling hook/tether/long-distance whip future device on the other. There would probably also be doves and slow motion.
This series has been blessed with a level of self-awareness that rarely sets in before the third game. Just Cause didn’t need to have such revelations.
All this sequel needed to do is hoard as much of the hilarious, nonsensical and certifiably insane B-grade gaming goodness it could inside the 400 sq. miles of tropical paradise that make up Medici.
That’s not to say there aren’t rules. Rico can only endure so many gunshot wounds, explosions, or failed attempts at skyjacking military helicopters. You can, and probably will, perish, though it will rarely be frustrating. The sometimes hilarious, sometimes frustrating physics play an important role in that. I don’t know if I would’ve preferred more realism or more exaggeration, but this game definitely would’ve benefited from leaning more heavily on one than the other.
The almost exclusively chaotic nature of every firefight is made easier this time around, thanks to the new regenerating health system. This gives you one less thing to have to worry about when you’re trying to tether a goon to any of the seemingly infinite number of explosive containers that have been scattered about the game world.
The idea that a game like this would release without a multiplayer component is baffling, since it so clearly fits in with the entertainment first, substance later mantra that Just Cause 3 seems to live by. Maybe it’ll come in a patch. If it doesn’t, it’s just a matter of time before the community comes up with a solution, assuming they haven’t already.
Traveling around the world has always been a fun aspect of these games, and this one doesn’t stray from that core value. Gliding across golden fields, snowy hills and urban metropolis’ is considerably more enjoyable with the wingsuit that, thankfully, gets immediately unlocked.
My only complaint is that the vehicles are significantly less valuable because of it. Saints Row IV ran into a similar problem when it went full Matrix, effectively turning every vehicle in the game into garbage wheel monsters. It’ll be interesting to see what the inevitable fourth game does to remedy that. Until then, I have some planes to surf on as I fire twin Uzis into the sun like a vengeful Icarus.
Just Cause 3 is the game for you, so long as the game you’re looking for is almost exclusively about bending the laws of man, nature and physics until they break for comedic effect.
Rico Rodriquez doesn’t need a reason to glide on the roof of a plane like a murder angel, nor does he need to explain why he would tether a goon to a gas-filled canister just so he can shoot it and watch the poor guy fly far, far away.
He’s Rico, the Immortal Godking of Things That Go Boom and the one true heir to the Michael Bay throne. Respect him or fear him. I’m sure he doesn’t care.
Reviewed By: Adam Dodd
Publisher: Square Enix
This review is based on a retail copy of Just Cause 3 for the Xbox One provided by Square Enix.